For a long time now we have understood ourselves as traveling toward some sort of industrial paradise, some new Eden conceived an constructed entirely by human ingenuity. And we have thought ourselves free to use and abuse nature in any way that might further this enterprise. Now we face overwhelming evidence that we are not smart enough to recover Eden by Assault, and that nature does not tolerate or excuse our abuses. If, in spite of the evidence against us, we are finding it hard to relinquish our old ambition, we are also seeing more clearly every day how that ambition has reduced and enslaved us. We see how everything, the whole world, is belittled by the idea that all creation is moving or ought to move toward an end that some body, some human body, has thought up. To be free of that end and that ambition would be a delightful and precious thing. Once free of it, we might again go about our work and our lives with a seriousness and pleasure denied to us when we merely submit to a fate already determined by gigantic politics, economics, and technology.
The open system theory is the foundation of black box theory. Both have focus on input and output flows, representing exchanges with the surroundings.
The black box is an abstraction representing a class of concrete open system which can be viewed solely in terms of its stimuli inputs and output reactions:
The constitution and structure of the box are altogether irrelevant to the approach under consideration, which is purely external or phenomenological. In other words, only the behavior of the system will be accounted for.
The understanding of a black box is based on the "explanatory principle", the hypothesis of a causal relation between the input and the output, and:
input and output being believed to be distinct,
having observable (and relatable) inputs and outputs,
being black to the observer (non-openable).
Man’s life on this Earth–who has courage to face it? Yet there are the trees, against the dark sky, black bare trees, springing from the earth to flower, swaying in the wind, the low moan of the wind. Who could live without this grace? Is not one man by himself important and worth consideration? To me he is worth sacrificing the whole world for. The farmer returns to the soil he tended vanishing, becoming indistinguishable from that which he toiled. The sun rises and sets, it is day and night, it will go on like this for a long time. You get to think you are a part of it and your circumstances are related to the cosmos, but one day your little system will burn out and the day and night will rotate indifferently. Can this be?